2 questions about 2014 "doohickey" and a what's this - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-27-2015, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 14
2 questions about 2014 "doohickey" and a what's this

First, the pics available seem to indicate that the "doohickey" (which I believe is a cam chain tensioner adjustment) is located on the foot brake side of the engine at the bottom center but inside the engine cover on that side. 1) Is that correct?
And I can find nothing in the owners manual about interval or method of adjusting. 2) What is the interval and method of adjustment?
Then on the "what's this"; on my bikes engine (2014 KLR New Edition) on the foot shift selector side at the bottom center of the engine case is a rubber plug. You can pull that plug with your fingers and behind it is a bolt that threads into and I assume thru the engine case to something inside. What is that???
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-27-2015, 06:09 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Bergen county, NJ
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Doohickey is on left side of the engine and the rubber plug is to cover doohickey bolt. I couldn't find the adjustment interval either.

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post #3 of 5 Old 09-28-2015, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
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The doohickey keeps tension on the engine balancer chain. The "adjuster bolt" is under that rubber plug by the shift lever.

I've noticed the Owner's Manual calls for adjustment of the balancer chain every 7,500 miles but doesn't tell you how to do it. I personally adjust mine at every oil change as I feel the 7,500-mile interval is way too long.

In a nutshell, you slightly loosen the bolt under that rubber plug. That "unclamps" the balancer lever, allowing the spring to pull the lever to tension the chain, then you snug the bolt back down to hold everything in place until the next adjustment.

That's how it should work in theory, but a lot of people who have upgraded their doohickey have found that the factory coil spring quickly runs out of action so when you loosen the bolt, there's not enough strength left in the spring to actually move the lever to increase tension on the chain. That's why a lot of people "do their Doo" and switch to an aftermarket setup to ensure the adjustment procedure actually results in something being adjusted.

I chose the torsion spring option as it should theoretically never run out of tension to adjust that lever.

Since you can't see any of this happening inside the engine, you can never be sure your adjustment is actually doing anything. With a known, reliable spring attached to the lever, chances are everything's doing what it's supposed to in there.

When I do mine, I lean it to the right and whack the case with a rubber/plastic mallet to make sure everything jiggles around and does what it's supposed to. Does it work? I don't know, but it makes me feel better.

pdwestman advocates setting the engine to TDC before performing this procedure. He knows a lot more about motorcycles than I do and it makes sense to me so I'm going to start doing the TDC-indexing thing prior to performing the adjustment procedure since it's easy to do.

I would recommend picking up a dedicated maintenance manual like a Clymer or Kawasaki Service Manual. It's important to not loosen that adjustment bolt too much and also not to overtorque it when you tighten it back down.

Kind of a layman's description of the whole deal, but maybe this will give you an overview of what it's all about.

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post #4 of 5 Old 09-28-2015, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 14
Hey Sarge, (planalp?) that helps a lot. So to adjust you do it from outside the case but to check the condition of bracket/spring is when you must remove the case.
And Mark, it looks like our freq is every 7,500 miles but... I'm on a every 3,000 mile oil/filter change interval so I will do every 6,000 or once a year basically.
I do want to get a Clymer or Hayes maint manual but have not found any that extend to the 2014 or newer models. Only one I have come across down this way reference the Gen 1 models which I believe is up to the 2008? Do you happen to know the torque spec for the adjuster bolt?
Also rolling the motor to TDC (on the compression stroke) would by virtue of the resistance the valve spring provides (or relative lack because both valves closed)place the least preload on the chain. Makes sense to allow the slack removal adjustment to happen under that condition to me so think I will use that approach also.
Is there a TDC indicator some place visible? Or is it just pull the plug, roll engine over to compression stroke and then bump piston to top?
Thanks for the help Gentlemen!
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-28-2015, 06:12 PM
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There are two plastic plugs on the left side that you remove to set the engine at TDC.

This manual should work for you.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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